The founder of Ajoka Theatre and veteran TV actress Madeeha Gauhar lost her battle to cancer and passed away at the age of 61 in Lahore. She was the elder sister of TV actress Faryal Gauhar and is survived by her husband Shahid Nadeem and two kids.
Born in 1956, Madeeha obtained a Master’s degree in English literature from Lahore before moving to London for another degree in Theater Sciences. It was there she met prominent writer and director Shahid Nadeem with whom she founded Ajoka Theater in 1984. She rose to prominence in the 1980s when during the first tenure of Benazir Bhutto she did a few progressive plays as an actress.
Ajoka’s ascent as one of the premiere theatre companies in Pakistan was mainly due to Madeeha’s dedication to the cause and her ability to raise awareness for human rights, honour killings as well as health issues through her plays. She represented Pakistan all over the world as Ajoka got to performed in countries like India, Nepal, Bangladesh, the United States and the United Kingdom.
Not many remember but Madeeha was nominated for the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize from Pakistan in 2005; she won many awards for her work in TV and Theatre including Prince Claus Award from The Netherlands in 2006 as well as International Theatre Pasta Awards a year later.